Congratulations to Jade for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘Only Me’.  Here’s a bit about Jade and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Only Me’? I recently left college and have had to take the backseat whilst all of my friends go off to uni and take the traditional step up in life. This song is about cherishing my own path and not being so hard on myself for wanting to follow my dream.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started writing songs around 2014-2015, just after I started learning to play guitar!

How did you get into songwriting?  I started learning how to play guitar as I wanted to explore songwriting and accompanying myself. I always saw it as something quite unreachable, but joined a club in year 10 to try and bounce off of other people’s ideas.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Songwriting is genuinely quite a cathartic release for me, as It allows me to create something that has a special meaning to me, but can also relate to other people and strike a chord with them.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I know it sounds silly but when it’s finished! I love the process, but it can be quite difficult at times. However, I find it extremely satisfying when the song just writes itself, as I find myself either writing songs very quickly or extremely slowly. Also, when I finish, I can evaluate the whole product & I always send a voice note to my best friend; which is always great!!

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I can see a distinguised difference in how my songwriting process has evolved over the years. Something I still struggle with is not presenting myself bare in a song, as I once saw a quote with ‘give them 2 and 2, not 4’. This stuck with me as I am constantly trying to hide meanings in my songs, providing light and shade.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I always start with chords! I find a progression that I like & start humming incoherent sounds over the top, until it forms something coherent! I usually write down little clips of thoughts throughout my day, but I usually just start and see what comes from it!

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I love that it gives young songwriters a platform to express themselves and be taken seriously!

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  Oooooh! I would definitely have to say that Ed Sheeran remains my favourite artist of all time, as I can credit him to who got me into my songwriting & performing. I also love Tori Kelly as she has such a distinguished sound and playing style… and her vocals are i n s a n e! I am also loving Anne Marie currently, as I really love her style and she never ceases to amaze me with the emotion she puts into her performance.

15 years from now you will be… Making a living from music! I want my music to be heard, to have a solid fan base and hopefully to make people happy with my own material. Ofcourse I would love to tour, and have no.1 albums, but that would be a mega bonus. I just want to be able to sustain my dream and keep on climbing!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? Busk busk busk!!! I found that creatively, University and part time jobs were not the path for me, so I gave busking ago. 6 months down the line, I’m busking 3-4 times a week and am still absolutely LOVING IT!

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Zoe for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her song ‘All She Has To Do’.  Here’s a bit about Zoe and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘All She Has To Do’?  I’ve never had a mental illness but I know a few people who have. I think it’s very important for other people to help them because they can’t do it on their own. I want this song to show people with mental illnesses that they have much to live for and have many people around them who can help. The first verse is what people think from the outside-there isn’t any hope, but as I progress through the song it shows that there is hope.

How long have you been writing songs?  Nearly 4 years

How did you get into songwriting?  Actually from a Song Academy club at my school.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  It helps me realise how hard song writing is and how we should appreciate all the amazing song writers which we are sadly loosing as the pop generation develops.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  I love it all really! I love seeing people’s reactions to my songs and what emotions they felt whilst hearing it.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Probably trying trying make my songs original and not cheesy!

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I always start with chords then develop fitting lyrics around them.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  It makes me realise how much amazing talent there is but also makes me feel that just because I’m a kid, doesn’t mean people can’t enjoy and listen to my music.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   Wow. This is hard. I love Oasis because they are so different to what is on the radio today. I also think David Bowie is a huge influence on Music today and obviously Tom Odell because he has such a unique and emotional way of writing.

15 years from now you will be… Hopefully getting my songs heard and getting my emotions and passions out to people. Or maybe a crazy cat lady, hopefully not.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  I am almost always writing songs! I love to play sport, read books and definitely video games!

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Joshua for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘Your Picture On The Mantlepiece’.  Here’s a bit about Joshua and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Your Picture On The Mantlepiece? The inspiration for this song came from some dark experiences that my friends have gone through in the past couple of years. After two of my friends tried to end their life and another went through with it I began to ask myself some questions.
 How did they get to the place where they no longer had the will to live? When I was writing this song I visited a family who had a picture of our friend who ended their life on the mantelpiece. It struck me how this friend remained the same, how they would never grow up. This image stuck with me and became the inspiration for this song. The song also explores the pain that so many go through when somebody takes their life and how many people care for them.  I’m hoping that this song will make more people aware about mental health and that we can do more as a society to care and look after these people.

How long have you been writing songs?  I started writing songs from a young age and have fond memories of performing my compositions during primary school assembly’s.

How did you get into songwriting? Music has always been a major part of my life as my mum’s a professional musician.   In the last couple of years I started using Logic Pro X. It gave me freedom and versatility when developing song ideas and allowed me to write, produce and record songs incorporating different genres.  Finding this tool was like discovering a new language for me.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Music allows me to outwardly express themes and personal experiences that are difficult to open up a dialogue about. For this particular song I was inspired by mental health and the taboo surrounding this area.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  One of the areas that I find the most enjoyable and challenging is finding the right lyrics. In every one of my songs I hope to express ideas that are relatable and real to peoples lives that can be interpreted in different ways.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  I find production the most challenging part of songwriting as often ideas that are in my head are difficult to translate into real life.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  I tend start with melodies as this is the driving force for the song. I will then work on creating a storyline and concept and find lyrics that fit around this idea.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I like the way Song Academy encourages young people to share their music and ideas. It bridges an incredible gateway for aspiring artists looking to enter into the music profession.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   Avicii – His captivating melodies and intriguing lyrics combined with great production has inspired me to pursue songwriting.  Clean Bandit – They bring together classical musicianship with contemporary style.  Sia – I’m inspired by the way she allows her art form to proceed narcissism and fame

15 years from now you will be… Songwriting and producing music in collaboration with different artists and continuing to explore different themes that are accessible to people’s lives.  Pursuing an acting career alongside whether that be on stage or screen in order to bring stories to life in a different medium.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Alongside songwriting I’m pursuing a career as a professional actor and in my free time partake in a variety of dance classes.

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Harry for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘Hello’.  Here’s a bit about Harry and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Hello?

I was in quite a dark mind frame when I wrote the song. Its about not getting recognised for the amazing work you do and wanting to reach out to people to help them get heard. Great ballad and just reflects that people without much recognition can go far.

How long have you been writing songs?  Since a young age really, but properly I’d say…2 years

How did you get into songwriting?  I was being bullied and when I started to write songs, it became easier.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  Myself. It lets me bring out whatever emotions I need to if I can’t say them out loud.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? Having the song finished. It makes me really proud and happy.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you?  Getting started on an idea.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  Bit of both really. Mainly music and write to the song.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?   It gives young people a chance to shine and get the support they need.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?   Ed Sheeran – Perfect …. Little Mix – Secret Love Song…. Ariana Grande – No Tears

15 years from now you will be…  I would love to be a pop star who gets to share their music with the world.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs?  Sing! I am always singing/dancing!

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Greta for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with her songs ‘Head Full Of Clouds’ and ‘Dear Diary’.  Here’s a bit about Greta and her songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist songs?

‘Head Full Of Clouds’ is about needing time alone and embracing time on my own. People who are not on the autistic spectrum often think that being on your own is in itself intrinsically sad and something that needs fixing. I’m not spending time alone because I am too afraid to come out and socialise with you. I am actively choosing to be on my own.

I wrote ‘Dear Diary’ in the autumn before I turned 11. We had been studying the history of the Titanic at school and had a homework assignment (year 5) to “do something creative about the Titanic”, so I thought I’d try writing a song on my ukulele and this is what I came up with. I wanted to write it from the point of view of a single passenger because I wanted the person listening to feel connected to her and experience the story as if they had really been there.

How long have you been writing songs?  I wrote my first song – Dear Diary when I was 10 (which funnily is one of the ones nominated). I’m turning 13 in November, so I guess that makes it about two and a half years.

How did you get into songwriting?  My family is very musical. I’ve been having piano lessons since I was 5, and my Dad writes songs all the time. I have always been fascinated with how music works, so I started writing my own.  My 1st song Dear Diary was a year 5 primary homework assignment “do something creative about the Titanic”. My mum suggested I try writing a song and it just all came together in a flash -the whole thing took half an hour start to finish. So I’ve been writing ever since.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve?  I’m always learning new things about music, and I’m creating. I make music to satisfy myself, and the fact that other people like it is just a bonus.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process?  That flash of inspiration that starts it all. The idea. I could get it from a chord sequence, a phrase, a rhyme, a picture, or even a feeling. It hits hard, and then you crash, with no idea what to do. It’s magic while it lasts though.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? Preserving that feeling. I have to take so many notes, just so I can remember what I was thinking about!

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords?  It depends what inspired me in the first place.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  The opportunity for young people like myself to share their songs.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  That’s a toughie. Let’s say: Gorrilaz, Cat Stevens, and The Kinks.

15 years from now you will be… Honestly, I have no clue. Hopefully 27.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? I’m very into art – especially animation and story writing. I’m in the middle of writing a sci-fi novel at the moment.

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

Congratulations to Owain for being a Young Songwriter 2018 Finalist with his song ‘Broken’.  Here’s a bit about Owain and his songwriting.

What inspired you to write your SAYS18 finalist song ‘Broken’? I wrote ‘Broken’ after I split up from my girlfriend.

How long have you been writing songs? I have been writing songs since around the age of 13. I began guitar at the age of 12 and decided to try singing at the age of 13, which then led on to writing my own material.

How did you get into songwriting? I had been writing lots of poems and aspired to be an author when I was in primary school, inspired by my Grandad. I always preferred the creative tasks, such as writing a short story or drawing in art. I later adapted this writing skill, going from poems to lyrics when I went to secondary school and my music teacher, Bethan Jenkins, got me into songwriting.

What does songwriting allow you to explore and achieve? Song writing allows me to express myself easily and in a way others can enjoy. It can help get across different perspectives and can also be a very powerful tool in helping yourself, or others deal with a troubling or upsetting situations. Also, I like to think that people can relate to my music and not only enjoy it for the music it is but also the meaning beneath it. Also, it can be used to provoke thoughts in others. I think this is very important because it is good to look at things from alternate perspectives.

What’s your favourite part of the songwriting process? I enjoy all parts of the song writing process, but one of my favourite parts is when you write a powerful and catchy chorus or hook line. I think that these can make or break a song so when you come up with a really strong chorus it’s a great feeling. Also, it feels great when a song finally comes together and sounds complete. It’s a real confidence booster.

What’s the most difficult part of the creative process of songwriting for you? For me, the most difficult part of the process varies from song to song. Recently I have been struggling when coming up with new chord patterns as I have a tendency to reuse chords from previous songs. However, other days I might struggle to work on just one song at once, instead going back and forth between multiple songs which can turn out to be a bad thing as it means applying less consideration into each individual song.

Do you start with lyrics or melodies/chords? It really depends on the song and day. A lot of the time I’ll think of lyrics throughout the day and note them down on my phone, figuring out a melody later on. For the most part, I like to write the riff or chord pattern first, then write the melody and for lyrics to this melody as I find the lyrics the easiest part.

What do you like about Song Academy and our Young Songwriter competition?  I believe the Song Academy and the Young Songwriter Competition have many benefits. They not only provide a platform for songwriters to get their work listened to and get expert advice, but they also do this for young people, who can often feel limited in the experiences available to our age group. Also, there is no other competition like this that I know of in the UK, so I believe that this is an excellent idea and competition, providing a much needed opportunity to young songwriters.

Who are your three favourite artists/songs?  My favourite artists and songs are constantly changing. I like to stay like to stay current and evolve my music with the trends that I enjoy to listen to. Currently, I enjoy artists such as Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran and James Arthur. I also enjoy the Stereophonics, which is I believe is reflected in a few of my songs.

15 years from now you will be… In 15 years from now I aspire to be writing chart songs and deep into the industry. It’s ambitious, but I believe it can be done if I work hard enough.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing songs? When I’m not writing songs, I enjoy going out with my friends. I think it’s important to go out and have a laugh with your mates as these times can often inspire a new song or idea so they go hand in hand in a way.

Our SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May at 6pm (GMT) on our Twitter channel.

Come & watch the top young songwriters from across the UK and Ireland perform @WestfieldLondon, Shepherd’s Bush in the Young Songwriter 2018 live showcase on Sunday 10th June, 2-5pm. Around 40 performers including winners, finalists & highly commended entrants, aged 8-18 will perform! #savethedate #newgeneration #talent #youngsongwriters #songwriting #newmusic #freeevent #SAYS18

Full line-up to be announced shortly.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

CREATIVITY • COURAGE • INDIVIDUALITY • SELF EXPRESSION • INSPIRATION

#SAYS18 #StrengtheningMentalHealth #Community  #Songwriting

The Young Songwriter 2018 finalists are announced and are being judged by our star-studded judging panel including Tom Odell, Guy Chambers & Imelda May

Finalists of the hotly contested Song Academy Young Songwriter (SAYS) 2018 competition have now been revealed. The SAYS18 winners will be announced on the 14th May! All finalists and highly commended entrants will perform live in front of family, friends and the general public at Westfield, London on Sunday 10th June, from 2pm to 5pm and the Young Songwriter 2018 compilation album will be released in June 2018.

8-12 years old category

Happy Birthday by Erik Antonyan, Soaring by Skye Bishop, All She Has To Do by Zoe Efstathiou, Interweaving by Daisy Grace Powell, City by Mia Bran, A.S. Bach by Asher Saipe , One Bad Day Won’t Bring Me Down by Laetitia Felix, Head Full Of Clouds by Greta Benn, Hello by Harry Hatcher, Dear Diary by Greta Benn.

13-18 years old category

Free Spirits by Lisa Kowalski, Broken by Owain Felstead, T-Shirt by Katie Kittermaster, Snapped by Lottie Jenkins, Like Lava by Matilda Mann, Trust Me by Tabitha Jade, Way You Move by Oscar Welsh, Only Me by Jade Thornton, Your Picture On The Mantelpiece by Joshua Shea, Bad Boy by Isabella Weinstein.

International category

Here I Am by Madi Earl, This Letter by Joe N Cave, Clara by Kevin Jones.

This year’s panel of award winning judges includes singer songwriters Tom Odell and Imelda May, songwriters & producers Guy Chambers (for Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, & Mark Ronson), Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Tim Laws (Gabrielle, Lighthouse Family), Jessica Sharman (for Ward Thomas), Nicky Cox (editor, First News) and Nigel Elderton (Chairman, PRS for Music). A number of the judges will be at Westfield on 10th June to watch their favourites perform live.

This year’s competition attracted close to 500 high quality entries from cities across the world, from London, Dublin, Cairo, Helinski, Johannesburg, Nashville, New York, Reykjavik, Zagreb to Melbourne. 16% of entrants were aged 8-12, 41% aged 13-15 and 43% aged 16-18.  Girls were 70% of the entrants.

Analysis of entrants’ song themes and lyrics demonstrates that song writing is a hugely valuable outlet for young people to express their feelings and concerns and strengthen mental health. The main themes were: frustrating emotions of being in love (16%), moving on from a relationship after heartbreak or when it’s not working (14%), happiness of being in love (12%), anxieties and pressures of life (12%), importance of believing in yourself and being yourself (10%), being empowered in your life and being in control (8%). SAYS18 entrants expressed themselves with such power, imagination and creativity, both lyrically and musically, sharing their dreams, their pain, their hope & hearts with the world.

There were several noticeable differences between the age groups with the 8-12 year olds writing more about friendships and being empowered in your life and the 13-18 year olds focusing on the roller coaster emotions of being in love and moving on from destructive relationships.   A much higher proportion of the younger age group wrote about mental health themes of anxiety and pressures of growing up in today’s society, perhaps showing a need for more support at this younger age.

There was a wide variety of genres across SAYS18 songs, from folk to jazz, soul, rock, punk, reggae & pop. The younger age group wrote across a wider range of genres, with the pop genre as the most popular style. The older age group had a focus on acoustic folk (41%) with jazz/soul/blues and rock being popular styles.

The annual Song Academy Young Songwriter competition has gone from strength to strength since it’s launch in 2011 and is now the leading song writing competition for young people aged 8 to 18 across the UK and Ireland with a strong sense of community. It’s a springboard for the next generation of creative stars to get noticed by key players in the music industry, build confidence, have their voices heard and shine in the limelight.

During the SAYS18 competition period, 16.5 million people were reached across the Song Academy social media platforms and website. 19,000 people were engaging with SAYS18 with retweets, posts, comments, email click throughs. During the entry period there were 4,480 listens to the SAYS18 songs.

Tom Odell, singer songwriter said “When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it.  But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think The Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and its something I wish had been around when I was starting out.”

Guy Chambers, songwriter & producer said “It’s a huge pleasure to be a part of this years judging panel for the Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018. I have always been a supporter and nurturer of young talent, so it will be great to see what this year’s competition has to offer. Good luck.”

Imelda May, singer songwriter said “I’m very glad to be part of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018 judging panel. Good songwriting is the foundation of all good music. This competition is also simply a great way for songwriters to meet other like minded people and I’m happy to encourage anyone to connect and excel in this beautifully expressive art form and cannot wait to hear the songs.”

Director of PRS for Music, Myles Keller said “This wonderful competition empowers young songwriters, enabling them to showcase their talent and offering them a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity to gain crucial feedback from some of the very best British songwriters. In the early stages of a career, this kind of help is like gold dust and really enables industry newcomers to build strong, sustainable careers. Music is integral to our nation’s identity and it is crucial that we nurture the next generation of songwriters now to ensure a creative future. PRS for Music is absolutely delighted to support such a positive and exciting competition.”

Keep a watch for The Song Academy’s spotlight blogs on each of the top ten finalists and hear the latest news on the Young Songwriter 2018 showcase and star guests to be attending via the Song Academy Twitter feed @SongacademyUK.

A big thank you to our SAYS18 sponsors, PRS for Music, SoundCloud, Focusrite, ICMP and Trinity College London.

Young Songwriter 2018 Press Release Finalists Announced

– Ends –

For further media information, photography, videos, interviews, etc., contact Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, rowena@songacademy.co.uk 07710 023743.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Who are we? A Song Academy overview

The Song Academy champions young people aged 8-18 and is nurturing the next generation of songwriters & creative leaders.

We believe we have a unique concept which focuses on the hearts and minds of young people, giving them the tools and platform to express themselves and have their voices heard. We celebrate their individuality. We unleash their creativity and inspire them with what’s possible. We also connect them to a vibrant community of their peers who love writing original songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry. Overall, we build young people’s confidence and self-belief.  Our focus is on the love of songwriting rather than the love of fame.

The Song Academy runs after-school sessions, holiday workshops, school workshops, birthday parties and an annual nationwide Young Songwriter competition. As a result of our programmes, we have seen a direct correlation in the increase and advancement of confidence, self-esteem, creativity, motivation, well-being and technical song-writing ability in our members. More information is at https://www.songacademy.co.uk.

www.songacademy.co.uk

contact@songacademy.co.uk

07710 023743

In this blog post, Graham Turner from Music Gateway, an online marketplace for people in the music industry, offers some usual information to our young songwriters wanting to create a sustainable career in the music industry.

Co-writes or Cow Rights

Hmmm, now; here’s a subject I could write a book on.

“It’s like rats on a sinking ship, crawling over each other to get to the cheese.”

Most successful songwriters will tell you, the best way to improve your writing, network your way ahead, and give yourself the best chance of writing something fantastic, is to co-write.  I’d agree with that; wholeheartedly!

I’ve had some truly amazing experiences writing with other people.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some top top writers in LA and Nashville, had the honour of having some of my teenage hero’s playing my songs here in the UK and learned so much from some of the best producers in Scandinavia and Europe.

I’ve had songs played on Radio in most parts of the world and had a couple of songs featured in TV shows and even had one song voted by Publishers in the top 40 songs written in Nashville in 2013.

My co-writers, in the main, have been exceptionally talented, amazingly generous and fun to work with. Without exception, all of my successes have been as a result of having a clear vision about what we were writing, who it’s been aimed at and agreeing what contribution we were happy with sharing BEFORE the song was written.

On the flip side, I’ve had some people go to sleep on a couch while I write a song around their explanation of how they got their hangover that’s so painful, it’s stopped them being able to work, yet they’ve demanded 50% publishing rights of the song, afterwards.

I’ve had producers block the use of a song that they didn’t even write, because the film didn’t fit their image (even though it went on to reach number 3 in the HMV dvd charts), and after we’d offered to pull their name from the credits but still demanded we pay them their % points. It later transpired that since they produced it, they’d gone on to write with Little Mix and decided that we were no longer worthy of his lofty position.

I’ve written with Emmy award winners who were generous enough to include a so-called friend of mine in one session. It turned out to be a big mistake as my “friend” got completely competitive during the session by rudely cutting across every single line or creative suggestion made, and we had to call a halt to the session.

I’ve helped people write and re-write their lyrics for them, spending up to 20 hours researching and writing their song, only to be offered a miserly 10% share after the event.

It sometimes gets even more spiteful when a song looks like it’s going to make money. Suddenly, people start counting hours, words or notes and trying to split things out even further.

Of course, most industry decision makers are not stupid. They can see through all of this very quickly.

It’s funny really. I didn’t realise it at first, but if you stand back at a Network Event or look from afar on Social Media, you can actually see, it’s like rats on a sinking ship, crawling over each other to get to the cheese.

I often wonder why some people can’t see the bigger picture and as soon as you start arguing about this kind of stuff, two things happen.

The Good Karma in the song disappears almost immediately, and what could have been a good thing, goes with it.

You end up with 100% of nothing. (or whatever percentage you’re left with).

So what’s the moral of the Story kids?

Don’t write a single note until you’ve agreed these two rules; IN WRITING:

  • What the writers split is going to be?
  • Who is it aimed at (or more importantly – where don’t you want your song used)

Now, that’s fine when it comes to the song, but there’s also some discussions needed around production, especially nowadays when production takes up a large part of making the final sound of the song (even though it may not necessarily be part of the raw song). Of course, many producers do write and produce so it’s less of a problem discussing this but you still need to consider:

  • How are you going to pay for the production (will you do it yourselves – in which case, you still

need to discuss this as part of the writing splits conversation). If you pay for the production, you

Normally own the master recording rights, which is important, as some finished songs are released as is when you get a song placed and therefore can command a production fee to buy out the recording and potentially negotigate royalty points as well.

  • Who’s going to sing it? (do they get a share of the song if they’re contributing to the melody line, or are you going to pay them a session fee for their time?)

You’ll have your own view, but I’ve always found that the best co-writes are where everyone has equal shares, even if they only plant a seed that another party has the type of receptive and expansive mind needed to grow it.

On the flip side, the ones where competitiveness over shadows creativity or where Ego over shadows humility when dealing with the business end, can only be described as Cow rights.

Discover more about information Music Gateway and check out their Next Gen competition for singers, musicians and songwriters.  For 14-23 year olds to enter a musical instrument performance an original song, solo, ensemble or cover

We’ve 5 weeks to go until the entry deadline of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018 competition!  If you’re 8-18 years old and are writing your own songs enter today!

 

Now in it’s 7th exciting year, from February 1st, the prestigious Song Academy Young Songwriter Competition 2018 is officially open for entries from across the UK and Ireland and internationally.

We are starting our search for the world’s top young songwriters. Could this be you?

If you’re aged between 8 and 18 and love writing your own original songs, then enter our Young Songwriter competition before the 8th April 2018 for the opportunity to:

  • Get noticed by some of the best songwriters & key players in the Music Industry
  • Have your songs heard and stand out from the crowd
  • Record your winning song with the top producer, Paul Stanborough in London
  • Receive a professional music video and professional photos from your studio session
  • Win a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio audio interface
  • Win a sE Electronics X1S Studio Bundle
  • Win a SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription
  • Perform in our Young Songwriter 2018 showcase in London
  • Win 4 tickets to Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
  • Win a Tinc big boom stand n speaker
  • Get connected to our vibrant community of young songwriters

This year’s panel of award winning judges includes

Singer songwriters Tom Odell, Imelda May and Lucie Silvas, songwriters & producers Guy Chambers (for Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, & Mark Ronson), Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Tim Laws (Gabrielle, Lighthouse Family), Jessica Sharman (for Ward Thomas), Nicky Cox (editor, First News) and Nigel Elderton (Chairman, PRS for Music).

Get ready and enter your original songs online

 

 

It’s been an incredible year! Have a listen to our top 20 songs of our young songwriter members in 2016.  Congratulations to our young songwriters and a big thank you to the fantastic Song Academy team.

If you’re a songwriter aged 8-18 check out our Young Songwriter 2017 competition, open for entries on 1st Feb 2017.

If you’re interested in our after school clubs & holiday workshops have a look at what we offer talented young songwriters.

If you’re a music teacher looking to enrich your music programme please have a look at our songwriting programmes for schools.

If you’d like a Song Academy songwriting birthday party get in touch.

We’ve had a brilliant year helping young people write smash hits and express themselves.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

The Song Academy Team